We’re going paperless

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Here at Cleanhome we always want to make sure that our franchisees get the most out of the business model as we are constantly looking for ways to improve it in order to meet their needs. Our franchisees are out and about a lot and we think it’s important to find ways for them to have access to data and complete business transactions effortlessly and without having to worry about paperwork. This is the main reason behind our decision to start developing a system that will enable them to go paper free when it comes to business agreements and payment systems with clients.

Going paperless is a great way to further enhance the flexibility of a mobile business. With the use of our cloud-based system Genesys, our franchisees are able to keep track of their business from wherever they are, so enabling them to create all the documents and access all the data they need when they are away from their office is a massive benefit to their day-to-day operations.

Apart from the flexibility going paperless brings to the table, it can also improve the overall efficiency of the business when you take into account the time used for filing, storing and retrieving business documents and reduce stationary costs. Furthermore, there is no need to increase the physical space of the business as it grows and more clients come on board. You can also avoid information overload by setting expiry dates for documents. Most business owners, especially of smaller businesses, end up with a lot of paper as they get busy with the day-to-day running and neglect discarding old documents they no longer need. The security of that data is also improved as you can choose who has access to the digital copies.

Another major benefit of a paperless office is that it helps businesses offer a more responsive and comprehensive service to its clients ensuring nothing is lost in the filing mayhem and all the information is up to date. Digital documents are harder to lose and can be easily tracked down even when saved in the wrong place. Everything can be backed-up and updated on a regular basis without having to worry about anything being misplaced or having to go through endless filing folders.

Switching a business to paper-free may seem daunting at first as but it can make a huge difference in the long-term. It’s not an overnight process and businesses need to understand how they can make the most of it in a way that it’s both realistic and achievable. Our main goal for the next few months will be to develop a system that will allow our franchisees to run their businesses more efficiently and provide a better service to their customers. We will be sharing more updates over the next few months!

Make sure your business runs like clockwork while you’re on holiday

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When you’re running your own business it’s easy to feel that there’s never a good time to take time off but forgoing holidays can actually harm your business in the long-term. Downtime is crucial for your personal life – after all, running a business is about being in control of your life – but also to give you time out to recharge your batteries and return energised and refreshed.

Most of our franchisees decided to start their own business to achieve a better work life balance so we encourage them to take regular time off. With proper planning, your business can still run like clockwork.

 Plan your holiday dates

Start preparing for your time away by breaking down your daily, monthly and weekly tasks and identify what needs to be done and when. Of course not every month is the same but it will be useful to create a list of tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis such as payroll, distributing email marketing campaigns or client reports. Planning properly means that you can delegate tasks to make sure everything is running smoothly in your absence.

Trouble shooting

You should already have procedures in place to ensure that if any issues arise your staff knows how to cope and this also includes identifying any problems before you go and ensuring staff know how to deal with them. Clearly setting out the circumstances when calling your mobile is appropriate will put your mind at rest when you don’t have communication with work.  Many of our franchisees have reciprocal agreements to keep an eye on each other’s business in each other’s absence which can be done easily through our cloud-based operational system.

Good communication with customers is essential if they are to believe that they are important to you.

Spread the word

Last but not least, letting people know that you’ll be away, from your bookkeeper to your office cleaner, is really important. Most of us get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and forget to let people know about any upcoming holidays. Inform everyone a few weeks in advance so they have the time to think if they need anything from you before you go away. This way you won’t be contacted with any last-minute urgent queries before setting off!

Plan your digital detox wisely

Thanks to modern technology most of us are only a few clicks away from our workplace which can be great at times but it also means the temptation to check work emails or calls is even bigger. Keep your phone on, but resist checking your emails, before you know it you’ll be responding to enquiries and you might as well be back in the office. Proper planning before you go means that you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

Investing Into a Franchise vs Setting Out On Your Own

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Starting your own business is a major life decision and even though passion and enthusiasm are essential to your business success, there are several other things you will need to consider.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make relates to the type of business you will start. There are a number of different business models to consider but one of the first things you will need to decide is whether you go it alone and start up from scratch yourself or you consider franchising, which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Whatever business model you choose, there are going to be key differences that need to be considered when determining which type of business is the best fit for you.

Autonomy and Culture

When you set out on your own, every business decision rests on you, while in a franchise business there is a proven business model and systems and processes which have been put in place by the franchisor. You’re in control of your own business when it comes to day-to-day operations and recruitment, however, bear in mind you need to choose a franchise which aligns with your own values as you will need to adhere to the culture and values set by the franchisor which are there to help and support you and to ensure that the franchise as a whole runs efficiently. You’ll also need to keep in mind that franchise owners are not able to change their offering to reflect their personal preferences or changes in the market – although you can talk to your franchisor about your suggestions and a good franchisor will always listen to their franchisees’ views. On the other hand, independent business owners don’t benefit from the security of knowing that their products or services have already been tested and optimised for the current market by the franchisor. You may be sacrificing some of your independence to a certain extent but at the same time you can enjoy the security that comes from belonging to a network with a proven track record.

Financing 

The investment required in a franchise varies hugely but it is usually far cheaper than setting up your own business from scratch. New businesses can require some start-up capital and the good news about franchising is that because it is recognised as a safer route into entrepreneurship than simply setting out on your own, many high street banks will be happy to lend you a substantial percentage of the initial investment if you have been accepted by a reputable franchisor.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is where the success of franchising lies. Consumers recognise the brand and buy into the reliability and familiarity it offers. When it comes to brand recognition franchise owners definitely have an advantage over independent business owners who have to gradually build their brand and build trust and goodwill, however, you need to keep in mind that brand awareness can also have an adverse effect on your business. If the franchisor or another franchisee does something which results in negative publicity then your business can suffer as well.

Training and ongoing support

When you start your own business from scratch you will need to learn how to run the front and back-end of the business on your own while developing new skills along the way. When you invest into a franchise, you also invest into training. Franchisors provide franchisees with training on every aspect of the business and make sure they feel confident in running the business before launching it. Franchisors can also offer ongoing training as part of their role to ensure franchisees are staying on top of their expanding business operations.

Return on Investment

Whether you decide to start your own business or opt for the stability a franchise operation offers, you’ll still need to put in hard work to build your client base and get your business off the ground and offer quality services or products on an ongoing basis. The advantage of franchising is that when you advertise a known brand name in your market, customers are more likely to recognise the brand name which can get the cash flowing faster.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a franchise or start your own business from scratch boils down to your personality. If you can’t really see yourself not having total control of the operational decision making, then a franchising might not be the right business route for you, however if you prefer the security, the ongoing support and the benefits of being part of a bigger network, then investing into a franchise can help you achieve your business aspirations.

Whichever you choose you can look forward to the excitement of owning your own business as well as the hard work, but huge satisfaction, of being your own boss and the knowledge that it’s your drive that is making your business grow and become successful.